You might be allergic to the rats.Some people are allergic to the rat skin and/or dandruff.I also know people allergic to the "buck grease" that males produce.
So I agree with Luvboyrats...see about checking rats out in the pet store or a breeder,handle them and see if you break out.Then after that,you can convince your mom that rats are not bad pets.
Pine and cedar is bad for rats,just to let you know.
* Lisa *
* To the world you are ONE person,but to a rat you are the world *
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* It's a rat thing...you wouldn't understand! *